One guy who really made a difference

Has anyone ever told you they want to make a difference?  I guess everybody wants to make a difference.  In what I don’t know, and nobody else seems to know either.  The UK Daily Mail has a story today about a guy who really made a difference in how about a billion human beings look today.  He lived around 10,000 years ago and some scientists think he left behind a gene mutation [A111T] that is carried by all light-skinned people on earth today.  He lived between India and the Middle East and this gene mutation that he passed on enabled Europeans of later generations to have a light skin tone that helped them make more vitamin D with less sunlight.  All humans need vitamin D and sunlight on their skin makes it. Skin that is too light will make too much of it, so dark skin is an advantage in a place like Africa and near the equator where it’s hot and sunny.  But in Northern European climates where there is less sunshine, and far enough North where there is practically no sun at all for six months of the year, light skin is a huge advantage.  So, what a difference he made.

Light skin may stem from ONE 10,000 year old human ancestor

This stuff is mind bending. I have read, for example, that one dowager female in Africa about two million years ago left behind the genes of all modern humans alive today.  Another story has it that a few tens of thousands of years ago modern humans almost became extinct when the entire human population on earth fell below 100.  If so, we are all pretty closely related.  Maybe that’s why we fight so much.  If the dowager female legend is correct Blacks need to stop hogging the name African American. We’re all African Americans.

  • One Hand Clapping

    * 2013 was a very productive year for sequencing the genome of ancient man. (Too bad that DNA degrades in hot climates.) I am fascinated by ancient man, by the migrations of ancient man, and by the genetic imprints that ancient man has on modern man. I have read different theories about white skin. In the Q/A at: genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist they say that “the lack of sunshine, plus the cold winters of northern Europe, combined w/ the introduction of agriculture strongly favored pale people.”
    * So many tangents about genetics and migration are intriguing: black people with blonde hair in Melanesia, the Basques, Neanderthal traits in modern man, the spread of the Denisovans, etc.